Open Context

Wednesday, July 19 2017

AM

We began by defining the last of the small stones of Locus 4.  This just entailed removing a few isolated mounds of dirt that remained.  Once the stones were clearly defined, it was evident that the stones are denser in the west and peter out to the east.  However, the stones are situated in a darker brown, heavily mottled soil while to the east of the stones, we have exposed a plaster-rich compacted deposit.  Therefore, the rock cluster will be excavated as its own locus.  Before excavating the rock feature, we must close Locus 4 and remove one last remaining patch of olive-brown, claylike soil that overlies the floor of the later rectilinear building.  Closing photos and elevations for Locus 4 were taken and Locus 4 was closed.  Aerial photos also taken.

Closing elevations: Locus 4

  • 105.65E/41S: 26.56m A.E.
  • 106.50E/41S: 26.64m A.E.
  • 106.50E/42S: 26.63m A.E.
  • 105.55E/42.06S: 26.53m A.E.

We then opened Locus 5, a roughly rectangular patch of remaining olive-brown soil overlying the later floor surface and to the east of Locus 4.  Opening photos and elevations were taken.

Opening elevations: Locus 5

  • 107.34E/41.95S: 26.73m A.E.
  • 108.12E/41.94S: 26.70m A.E.
  • 108.15E/42.55S: 26.71m A.E.
  • 107.28E/42.55S: 26.74m A.E.

Diagram of EPOC4 floor, 2016 sub-floor sections, Locus 4, and Locus 5

We began excavating Locus 5 using hand picks and trowels.  Soil is olive brown in color and claylike in texture; it is the same soil as in Loci 2 and 3.  We hand sorted soil in the trench then screened soil through a 1cm gauge sieve.  The first five buckets of sieved soil were collected for flotation.  Moderately high quantities of pottery and bone were found, along with some plaster, but we found very little tile.  We also recovered an iron fragment (Find #29), a tooth (Find #30), and a large diagnostic long bone (Find #31).

As we removed Locus 5 soil, we began to come down on a new, darker reddish brown deposit with high concentrations of plaster.  This likely is either the beaten earth floor or collapsed plaster wall of the later rectilinear building.  Once this new, plaster-rich deposit was exposed throughout the entire locus, we closed Locus 5.  Closing photos and elevations were taken.

Closing elevations: Locus 5

  • 107.34E/41.95S: 26.65m A.E.
  • 108.12E/41.94S: 26.66m A.E.
  • 108.13E/42.55S: 26.68m A.E.
  • 107.28E/42.55S: 26.66m A.E.

After Locus 5 was closed, we decided to remove the rock cluster exposed in Locus 4; this will be excavated as Locus 6.  We will remove the rock feature before sectioning through the floor of the later rectilinear building as in places, the stones seem to directly overlie this floor surface.  Opening photos and elevations for Locus 6 were taken and Locus 6 was opened.

Opening elevations: Locus 6

  • 105.65E/41S: 26.56m A.E.
  • 106.50E/41S: 26.64m A.E.
  • 106.50E/42S: 26.63m A.E.
  • 105.55E/42.06S: 26.53m A.E.

We began working in Locus 6, removing stones and the soil containing the stones.  Stones are small, typically measuring 10-15cm in maximum dimension.  The soil of Locus 6 is dark brown and heavily mottled, with terracotta, limestone, and carbon inclusions.  There also are large fragments of charcoal visible.  We are recovering mainly pottery, including some large, intact sherds, but little tile, plaster, or bone.  Soil is hand sorted in the trench then screened through a 1cm gauge sieve.  The first five buckets of soil will be collected for flotation.  When we first started working in the locus, we found a fragment of vitrified terracotta (Find #32).

Special Finds

Find #29

  • Locus 5
  • 107.44E/42.09S
  • 26.64m A.E.
  • Iron fragment

Find #30

  • Locus 5
  • 107.95E/42.21S
  • 26.70m A.E.
  • Tooth

Find #31

  • Locus 5
  • 107.54E/42.28S
  • 26.61m A.E.
  • Diagnostic long bone fragment

Find #32

  • Locus 6
  • 106.77E/41.99S
  • 26.65m A.E.
  • Vitrified terracotta

PM

We continued working in Locus 6.  We removed most of the small stones before lunch and now are working to remove the remaining dark reddish brown mottled soil.  We continue to excavate using hand picks and trowels and hand sort soil in the trench, screening soil through a 1cm gauge sieve.  We continue to find mainly pottery but only small amounts of tile, plaster, and bone.  While sorting, we found a fragment of ferric slag (Find #33).

When working through the soil of Locus 6, we began to reveal numerous fragments of plaster and a new deposit, like in Locus 5.  Therefore, we will work to fully expose this deposit, which likely is either a beaten earth floor surface or collapsed wall from the rectilinear building overlying EPOC4’s porch.  While sieving a bucket of soil, we recovered a fragment of vitrified terracotta (Find #34).

Once all dark brown mottled soil from locus 6 was removed and the underlying plaster-rich deposit was exposed, we closed Locus 6.  Closing photos and elevations were taken.

Closing elevations: Locus 6

  • 105.65E/41S: 26.56m A.E.
  • 106.50E/41S: 26.71m A.E.
  • 106.50E/42S: 26.66m A.E.
  • 105.55E/42.06S: 26.61m A.E.

With Locus 6 closed, the plaster rich deposit was exposed across the entire area to the N of the 2016 sections into and through floor surfaces.  The plaster rich deposit either is a beaten earth floor surface associated with the later rectilinear building or a plaster wall collapse from that same structure.  This deposit will be excavated as Locus 7.  Locus 7 extends roughly N of the 2016 sections, from 105-108.5E, but excludes the exposed N wall of EPOC4 and preserves a portion of the plaster rich deposit.

Diagram of 2016 sections, Locus 7, and EPOC4 N wall

Opening photos and elevations for Locus 7 were taken and Locus 7 was opened.

Opening elevations: Locus 7

  • 105E/41S: 26.57m A.E.
  • 107E/41S: 26.77m A.E.
  • 107E/42S: 26.69m A.E.
  • 108.50E/42S: 26.79m A.E.
  • 108.50E/43.34S: 26.55m A.E.
  • 106.73E/43.34S: 26.59m A.E.
  • 106.67E/43.85S: 26.49m A.E.
  • 106.56E/43.88S: 26.51m A.E.
  • 106.60E/42.56S: 26.58m A.E.
  • 105E/42.50S: 26.57m A.E.

We began excavating in Locus 7 using hand picks and trowels.  Soil is hard packed, but whether this is actual compaction or just results from baking in the sun is unknown.  We began in the eastern half of the locus.  Soil also is bleached by sun exposure, so it is difficult to determine color.  Soil is hand sorted in the trench then screened through a 1cm gauge sieve.  We have found relatively high quantities of plaster and also found a fragment of vitrified terracotta (Find #35) and a diagnostic bone (Find #36).

Locus 4:

  • Tile and plaster: 3 fragments
  • Pottery: 2 sherds
  • Bone: 3 fragments

Locus 5:

  • Tile and plaster: ¾ bowl
  • Pottery: 21 sherds
  • Bone: 9 fragments

Locus 6:

  • Tile and plaster: 1/10 bowl
  • Pottery: 55 sherds
  • Bone: 9 fragments

Locus 7:

  • Tile and plaster: ⅛ bowl
  • Pottery: 5 sherds
  • Bone: 1 fragment

Special Finds:

Find #33

  • Locus 6
  • 106.17E/41.50S
  • 26.63m A.E.
  • Ferric slag

Find #34

  • Sieve find
  • Locus 6
  • 105.65-106.50E/41-42S
  • 26.56-26.70m A.E.
  • Vitrified terracotta

Find #35

  • Locus 7
  • 108.20E/43.06S
  • 26.53m A.E.
  • Vitrified terracotta

Find #36

  • Locus 7
  • 107.39E/43.27S
  • 26.65m A.E.
  • Diagnostic bone
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Suggested Citation

Katharine R. Kreindler. "T90 (2017-07-19):71-88; Excavation from Italy/Poggio Civitate/Tesoro/Tesoro 90/T90 2017". (2017) In Murlo. Anthony Tuck (Ed.) . Released: 2017-10-04. Open Context. <http://opencontext.org/documents/f9a9d23c-f950-43a9-8180-9e88734171f3>

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Murlo

Mapping Data

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